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CORRESPONDENCE. HORTON v. COLWYN BAY COUNCIL. (To the Editor of the "Pioneer.") Sii-, -The short report appearing in your paper in reference to the action commenced by me against the Council for cutting off some of my drains has created an erroneous impression and having regard to the insinuations made by Mr W. Davies about, it, and to the fact that the Council were unable to discuss the business it is in all fairness to myself desirable to publish the main features of the case. The question involved is much more serious than paying the J62 2s referred to in the report, and which although in no way liable I agreed (after arranging the settlement) to pay, and thereupon instructions were given for the terms j agreed to be set out in a supplemental agreement. That agreement, however, wu never forth- coming. I wrote for it and asked for it but never rece:vrd it, and after the lapse of ten weeks there appeared in the Council's proceed- ings a minute to the effect that no steps were to be taken to carry7 out the terms of settlement unless I gave an open guarantee to pay all ex- penses. That guarantee was an "after thought" and came to my knowledge by seeing it in the Council's printed proceedings, but do not know how it got there. The Council, however, con- firmed it as a matter of course, and thereby passed the business into the hands of the officials, and being aware of the undercurrents working I t a settlement I sent the writ which had been taken out to preserve my right of action. A I! legal proceedings against District Councils have to be commenced within six months after the right of action arises or the remedy is lost. Before taking out the writ, I wrote three letters suggesting that during the negotiations the six months' time limit should not run against me, but the suggestions received no attention, and now some members are trying to make a grievance about it, and when the matter was mentioned at the last Council meet- ing, and an attempt made to discuss the business, it was not allowed lest any such discussion should disclose some features which were not within my knowledge. Such an attitude, however, seems strange for a public authority to assume, and only shows weak- ness which leads to troubie. There is nothing to hide, the facts are simple, and shortly stated are these :— Prior to the Act of 1902 the whole of the drainage from my property was discharged through the old sewer and outfall at the bottom of Rhos-road. The Act of 1902 gave the Council permission to appropriate the outfail and utilise it as a storm overflow. That permission was exercised, and in addition to utilising the outfall as a storm water over- flow the Council laid surface water connections to it from the Cavlev Estate. On appropriating the outfall the Council be- came fixed with obligations to pay compensation for dispossessing me of my drainage rights or provide me with a substituted means of drainage. Instead of paying compensation the Council elected to dispose of the drainage by diverting it into the interception sewer, and shortly after doing so they desired to alter it by what they called an extension drainage scheme, and said it would be an improvement on what they had given me in substitution of my rights, and no doubt it in-as intended as such; but my com- plaint is that in carrying out the work Mr Wil- liam Davies, the then chairman of the Sanitary Committee, and the officials disregarded the Council's intentions, and during my absence from home, cut off my drains and re-arranged their new scheme in total disregard of the con- tract which the Council made with me on the 10th December, 1907, in regard to such extension sew»er, and have since raised all manner of quibbles in trying to justify their conduct. The contract provides that all my drains and sewers are to be connected with the new exten- sion sewer "at the expense of the Council," and was prepared by Mr Amphlett, who for some particular reason desired to have it in a certain form, and in order to satisfy mv requirements he wrote me several letters, and in one of which (dated 28th November, 1907) he states:— "You are, I am sure, aware that when a local authority take up an old sewer or drain and substitute a new one they are bound by law to connect up to the new sewer or drain, any drains or sewers which were connected up to the sewer or drain to be abandoned, since you wish it however, I have added (to the contract) a recital to that effect." In carrying out the extension Fewer the officials altered the flow of my old drainace and cut off several of my old sewers and drains, and failed to connect them with the extension sew^r as provided by the contract, and thereby deprived me of the drainage svstern sriven in substitution of mv drainage rights. On referring them to the letters and contract they contended that they did not apply to anv of the drains and sewers cut off, because such drains and sewers contained some surface drainage, and alleged that it was contrary to the 1902 Act- for the Council to allow surface drainage to co into the sewers, and that if it were allowed, anv rate- payer could obtain an injunction against the Council to prevent it, because it increased the cost of pumping. If that, dictum were correct the Council ought by this time to have been served with in junctions enoutrh to paper the Council Offices for there arc larg-e quantities of surface water drainage discharging into the sewers in all parts of the district. But, the Council arc not prohibited from taking surface drainage into the sewers and the cost of pumping is very small and works out at 5s 8d for every 500.000 gallons. Surface drainage from my property alwavs dis- charged into the sewers in the same wav and to the same extent as in all other parts of the dis- trict. The quantity of surface drainage from that part, of my pronertv in question has been estimated at about 250.000 gallons for the whole year, and I agreed to pay the cost, two shillings and tennence. for pumping it. Not because I was liable. Not because the charge could be justified, but because being a member of the Council T wished if possible to avoid litigation over such quibbling nonsense, and it was ulti- mately agreed to settle the question on that basis, and to set out the terms in the supple- mental agreement to which I have referred, but was not forthcoming. Instead of the Act of 1902 excluding surface drainage fr^rn the sewers it actually makes pro- vision for it to go or. and when carrying out the large drainage scheme under the Act the Council have r n along the route from Llvsfaen to Rho, diverted all the surface drainage into the new sewer thev could not otherwise deal with. The only exceotion they have made is in re- gard to mv property, and in the first instance they dealt with my surface drainage in the same way as they dealt with all the drain- age from other parts of the district by diverting it into the large drainage scheme, and then they "cicvcrlv" re-arranged the drainage of mv property by the extension sewer so as to exclude it, and at the same t.ime turned surface drain- age from the Caylev Estate into the very same outfall through which the surface drainage from mv property had hitherto discharged, and the latest, contention is that the contract of 10th December, 1907, is void, because it has not been sanctioned by the Local Government, Board. The Council, however, took full advantage of the privileges I gave them bv that contract, and the writ has. been am ended to meet the con- tention about its being voitl if it should be actually r3iiWd. In order to show- the large quantities of sur- face drainage which discharge into the new sewerage scheme under the 1902 Act I beg to refer to the Council's published report for last month (September). That report shows that during the month 23.963,641 gallons of surÍ<1cc> drainage and sewage combined passed through the pumoing station, and of that quantity onlv about. 10,000.000 gallons would be domestic sewage, the remaining 13.963,641 gallons being surface drainage from thp whole district (ex- cluding mv property), and the cot of pumping it was JE7 15s 8d, and if the surface drainage from my property had been included it would have increased the amount bv a few coptwr-, WILLIAM HORTON. Brvn Dinarth, I 31st October, 1908.


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